The French woman who triggered a crash at the Tour de France now knows her fate. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
While holding up a sign for TV cameras, a spectator at the Tour de France this summer stepped too far out into the racecourse and caused a pileup that injured twenty-one riders. Race organizers withdrew a lawsuit they’d filed against her, but the question remained whether she should face criminal penalties for doing something dumb but not intended to hurt anyone.
In the US, a person who causes harm—even unintentionally—can face criminal charges if she’s ignored a known risk or acted recklessly. French prosecutors had asked for a four-month suspended jail term, but the French court decided to give her no jail time but instead a fine of about thirteen hundred dollars. The director of the Tour de France thought that was the right decision, saying, “she did something daft; she’s no terrorist. We just want people to remember they are there to see the champions and not to get on television.” Agreed.